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A Career Caring for Others: Why Nurses Are Important in the Community

A Career Caring for Others: Why Nurses Are Important in the Community

By becoming a nurse, you’re entering into a rewarding profession caring for others. Even when you’re not on the clock, there is always a need for qualified nursing professionals who will care for those in need with competency and compassion.

That’s why it’s important you learn about why nurses are important in the community not only in every aspect of the Marian University ABSN program but also through giving back in other ways outside of nursing school.

Through volunteering, I gain so much more than a better appreciation for the people I help serve and will serve as a nurse,” says Marlita Clark, ABSN Class of May 2019 who serves as volunteer coordinator for Marian’s Student Nursing Association in Nashville. “It seems like I am doing something for someone else, but every time I volunteer I meet someone new and learn something. It helps center me and helps my compassion grow.

Why Giving Back Matters

Because Marian University is a Catholic institution, ABSN students earn a degree framed within the context of Franciscan Values:

  • Dignity of the Individual: Embracing and caring for the less fortunate in our community, which includes providing hospitality and service to others.
  • Peace and Justice: Being sensitive to the hurt or sick and validating their needs and feelings; helping others have a sense of self-worth and work toward interpersonal harmony and healing.
  • Reconciliation: Showing love for others by our deeds even when they may have not been kind to us; being a friend to the friendless.
  • Responsible Stewardship: Helping to empower others to help themselves; seeking out the needs of others in order to know how to help them.

While we incorporate these values into every aspect of the program, including online courses, on-site labs and clinical rotations at our clinical partners, St. Vincent in Indianapolis and Saint Thomas Health in Nashville, we also encourage our students to practice these values in the community.

Doing so upholds Marian’s Franciscan Values in many ways, says Jana Roberts, MSN, RN, CPN, lead clinical instructor.

“We encourage our students to stay involved, to view the whole of creation as a gift and to cultivate a sense of great gratitude for God’s gifts within ourselves,” she says.

How Marian ABSN Students Have Contributed to Their Communities

One of the ways the Marian University ABSN program encourages giving back to the community involves the Leighton School of Nursing’s Student Nurses Association (SNA), an organization where students come together to volunteer to help others in need.  When students start in the ABSN program at either location, they’re automatically included as part of this group — no membership or other fees required.

The organization’s goal of volunteering time and talents to help others who are less fortunate aligns well with the Franciscan Values set forth by Marian University, Marlita says.

“Giving back allows us to understand our future patients, since many times they are the underserved in our community,” she says.

Serena Howard, ABSN Class of August 2019, who serves as the SNA president in Nashville, agrees, adding that her involvement in the organization allows her to meet nursing students in other ABSN cohorts.

“It’s rewarding to be able to be involved in the community, and SNA provides a lot of volunteer opportunities. It’s also a nice way to meet other nursing students in different cohorts with whom we otherwise would never have had a chance to interact,” she says.

In the past few years members of the Marian University Student Nurses Association in Nashville have:

  • Participated with the Saint Thomas Health system in their implementation of their Medical Missions at Home “Multiple students have volunteered at these events in and around the Nashville area, serving in triage by assisting healthcare providers, performing clerical duties in the pharmacy, manning vision services by testing and fitting client’s glasses, foot washing, and more,” Jana says.
  • Prepared and served meals the first Thursday of each month at a local church.
  • Organized and packaged supplies and equipment for Project C.U.R.E., the largest provider of donated medical supplies and equipment, to developing countries around the world.
  • Volunteered at many local events, such as 5K runs for several organizations and other community events offering free blood pressure screenings.

Marian absn students volunteer

Ways You Can Give Back After Nursing School

Of course, volunteer opportunities that allow you to use your nursing expertise don’t end once you graduate from our ABSN program.

Here are some ways you can continue to give back in the community once you become a nurse:

Volunteer with the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross offers countless opportunities for nurses to lend their skills and knowledge in the community. More than 15,000 nurses and nursing students volunteer with the organization, doing anything from providing natural disaster resources, managing blood drives, teaching and developing courses and helping people in times of need in other ways.

Disaster relief

Local, national and international disaster relief organizations registered with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) are always looking for qualified caregivers to volunteer in critical times of need. You’ll likely need to get the proper training to offer your much-needed help when disaster strikes.

Medical missions

Usually coordinated by charitable or religious institutions, medical missions bring together qualified caregivers and healthcare providers to offer free healthcare services to those who need it. You’ve likely heard of organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, which involve long-term volunteer opportunities in third-world countries, but other short-term domestic medical missions exist right in our own backyard as well, such as Medical Missions at Home in Nashville mentioned above.

Teach CPR

As a nurse, you already know how to perform CPR and are qualified to teach other people this life-saving skill. Why not use your nursing experiences and expertise to help more people in your community know CPR? You’ll likely have to take an instructor training course first, but your time volunteering will have the potential to surpass your individual efforts; someone in your course could use the skills they learn to save a life one day.

Are You Ready to Become Important in Your Community?

Are you ready to turn your passion for nursing into a rewarding career caring for others? The Marian University ABSN program can help you fast-track your nursing journey. One of our dedicated admissions advisors can help you to determine if our ABSN program is the right fit for you and your goals. Fill out the form on this page to have someone contact you.

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